Florida Gov. DeSantis vetoes new congressional maps
In a rare disagreement with the Republican-dominated Legislature, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed the state's newly drawn congressional maps Tuesday, and lawmakers will hold a special session in April to redraw them. The veto puts more pressure on the Republican-dominated Legislature to approve a map and resolve any resulting lawsuits before the June 13 to 17 qualifying period for federal candidates. Florida is also creating a new 28th district because of population growth.news.yahoo.com
Florida high court refuses DeSantis request on redistricting
The Florida Supreme Court told Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday it will not answer his question on whether a Black congressman's district is unconstitutional. DeSantis has interjected himself into the once-a-decade process of drawing new congressional maps, something highly unusual for a governor to do. The House and Senate have considered maps that largely left Democratic U.S. Rep. Al Lawson's district intact, but DeSantis is pushing a map that would make his district lean Republican.news.yahoo.com
In unusual move, Gov. DeSantis submits redistricting map
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has submitted a proposal to reshape the state's congressional map and carve up districts held by Black Democrats, as the Republican takes the unusual step of inserting himself into the redistricting process. The proposed congressional map, submitted Sunday on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, signaled the governor's priorities as the state moves to redraw political maps in the coming months. DeSantis, who is running for reelection and is considered a potential 2024 presidential candidate, has largely shaped the legislative agenda in the Republican-controlled statehouse this year.news.yahoo.com
TWIJ: Doctor on coronavirus spike; lawmakers on crisis in Cuba
Dr. Sunil Joshi, president of the Duval County Medical Society Foundation, discusses the rise in coronavirus cases and the increase in hospitalizations. We also discuss the crisis in Cuba with Congressman Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, and Sen. Rick Scott, R-Florida, offer their analysis on Cuba as well as the American Rescue Plan and new child tax credits.
Jacksonville gets nearly $3.3 million to promote health literacy
The federal Office of Public Health and Science has awarded the city of Jacksonville a $3,295,342 grant to improve the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will help eliminate health disparities.
US Rep. Al Lawson; former Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland; vaccine passports
On this edition of “This Week in Jacksonville,” U.S. Rep. Al Lawson talks about a wide variety of issues, including the border crisis, the proposed infrastructure bill and the COVID-19 vaccine. Then former Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland joins the show to talk about his experiences with voting systems and the new voting law in Georgia. Finally, tech expert Ian Kahn joins the show to talk about vaccine passports and his views on whether they will be required in the future.
Agape, Sulzbacher among 6 North Florida health centers receiving $21M to expand vaccine access
Six community health centers in North Florida, including two in Jacksonville, will receive a total of more than $21.1 million in American Rescue Plan funds to expand their COVID-19 vaccination and treatment operations, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson announced Wednesday. The funds are part of the American Rescue Plan’s $6 billion investment to expand vaccine access in underserved communities. These are the health centers receiving funds in Florida’s 5th Congressional District, which Lawson represents:Agape Community Health Center (Jacksonville): $2,456,125I.M. Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless, Inc. (Jacksonville): $2,904,375Bond Community Health Center (Tallahassee): $2,672,000Florida Department of Health (Tallahassee): $3,674,500Neighborhood Medical Center (Tallahassee): $4,355,000North Florida Medical Center (Tallahassee): $5,087,500The funding will help to expand the health centers’ operational capacity, including adding mobile units. “The pandemic has hit Floridians hard, and this crucial funding to our local health centers will help families across Florida’s fifth district,” Lawson said in a news release.
Vice President Harris stops by vaccination site during Jacksonville visit
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Vice President Kamala Harris visited Jacksonville on Monday as part of the Biden administration’s “Help is Here” tour of the nation promoting the $1.9 trillion relief package. She visited the federally-run Gateway Mall vaccination site before stopping by a Northwest Jacksonville food distribution warehouse. “I’m glad to be in Jacksonville,” Harris said. “Tap away!”Jennifer Chase was getting her second shot as Harris came to the Gateway site and talked to the people getting shots. Harris visited last visited Jacksonville in October for a socially-distanced rally at the University of North Florida in advance of the November election.
Should you claim your stimulus pay on your taxes? And other FAQs
Given the pandemic, it’s fair to wonder how factors such as stimulus payments and Paycheck Protection Program loans could impact your filings. Below you’ll find a brief Q&A with Thomas explaining what you need to know:Do you have to claim your stimulus claims when filing your taxes? AdDoes the IRS look at stimulus payments as income? If unemployment compensation was received last year, you definitely want to include that on your tax return. Lawson hosts virtual roundtable on taxesIf you have additional questions about your taxes, stimulus payments and Paycheck Protection Program loans, you’re in luck.
Lawson hosting roundtable to answer your tax questions
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With tax season kicking off on Friday, it’s only natural to have lingering questions. To help you get answers, Rep. Al Lawson is hosting a virtual roundtable on Tuesday evening. Attention #FL05: Do you have questions about tax season?Join us on Facebook Live this Tuesday at 6:30PM as we work to answer your questions. To view and participate in the roundtable, visit Rep. Lawson’s Facebook page. You’ll also find the Facebook Live embedded inside this story.
Jacksonville to open 2-day vaccine site at Northside senior center
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville will be opening another COVID-19 vaccination site at a senior center -- this time in one of the city’s underserved neighborhoods. Individuals who are feeling sick should not go to a vaccination site. After receiving the vaccine, patients must stay on site for at least 15 minutes to be monitored for potential reactions by healthcare and emergency professionals. While allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine are rare, this safety measure is in place out of an abundance of caution. The city’s new senior center vaccination site opens as a group of local church and community leaders announced their own plan to do the same.
Capitol riot aftermath; impeachment of President Trump; Inauguration Day safety
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Rick Mullaney of Jacksonville University’s Public Policy Institute, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack and former U.S. Rep. David Jolly join this edition of “This Week in Jacksonville” to talk about their experiences during the riot at the Capitol. They also discuss their views on the impeachment of President Donald Trump, including how they voted and why, and look ahead to the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Farm Share distributes 68,000 pounds of food Saturday
Dozens of volunteers loaded cars with food from Farm Share at Legacy Ministries in Arlington Saturday morning. There was also a third farm share event at Abyssina Missionary Baptist Church on the Northside. FarmShare is hosting one more food distribution event before Christmas: 10 a.m. Tuesday at Bethel Baptist Church just north of FSCJ Downtown Campus. Farm Share was established in 1991 with the idea of distributing fresh food to families, children and seniors who need it free of charge. Farm share says since the beginning of March its distributed nearly 81 million meals to Florida residents.
How great is the need for food assistance? Where you can get help this week
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As Northeast Florida residents struggle through the pandemic, more people than ever need assistance. On Tuesday, Eastside Florida Farm Share teamed up with the Church of Oakland to distribute food to around 1,600 families, the first of six distributions of free food in Jacksonville this week. Saturday, 9 a.m.: Farm Share partners with Congressman Al Lawson to feed Jacksonville families at Abyssinia Missionary Baptist Church, 10325 Interstate Center Drive. Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Farm Share partners with Holy Spirit Catholic Church to feed 300 families, 11665 Fort Caroline Road. Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon: Farm Share partners with Legacy Ministries to feed 300 Jacksonville families, 825 University Blvd.
Cammack wins open US House seat; Lawson cruises to 3rd term
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Republican Kat Cammack has won Florida’s U.S. House seat held by her former boss, retiring Florida Republican Rep. Ted Yoho. He defeated Democrat Donna Deegan, a former television news anchor and breast cancer survivor who has become an advocate and fundraiser for cancer research. District 7: Florida Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy has been reelected to a third term, defeating Republican challenger Leo Valentin. District 26: Republican Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has won a Florida seat in the U.S. House, defeating a single-term Democrat. District 27: Republican Maria Elvira Salazar has defeated Democrat Donna Shalala for a U.S. House seat in Florida.
President Trump wins Florida, collects 29 electoral votes
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – President Donald Trump has won Florida’s 29 electoral votes, defeating Democrat Joe Biden in a prized battleground state crucial to the Republican’s bid for another four years in the White House. In the end, Trump prevailed with the help of a loyal base, particularly in the state’s rural reaches. Both campaigns made Florida a priority in the waning weeks of an election year thrown off-kilter by the pandemic. It remains to be seen how the social unrest after high-profile police killings of Black people might have influenced the race. Biden did win Duval County this year -- the first time a Democrat had won the county since Jimmy Carter swept the south in 1976.
Trump wins Florida; voters raise minimum wage to $15
— District 3: Republican Kat Cammack has won Florida’s U.S. House seat held by her former boss, retiring Florida Republican Rep. Ted Yoho. He defeated Democrat Donna Deegan, a former television news anchor who has worked to raise money for breast cancer research and to help patients. — District 15: Republican Scott Franklin has won Florida Rep. Ross Spano’s seat in the U.S. House. Deutch was first elected in 2010 and represents a firmly Democratic district that includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties. A supermajority of Florida voters approved the amendment to the Florida Constitution that will raise Florida’s minimum wage from the current $8.56 an hour to $15 an hour by 2026.
Early voting begins Thursday in Columbia and Baker counties
BAKER COUNTY, Fla. – As of Thursday morning, more than 40 million Americans have already cast their ballots for the 2020 General Election. Of those, nearly three-quarters of a million were cast by Floridians who voted early Monday and Tuesday. Voters in Baker and Columbia counties will be able to make their voices heard starting Thursday. For Baker County voters, there’s only one voting location for its 17,000 registered voters: at the Supervisor of Elections Office on North 5th Street in MacClenny. For information on elections in local counties in Northeast Florida, see our News4Jax’s Voter’s Guide.
Too risky? Fed pressed to expand aid to some businesses
Lawmakers are pressing the central bank to deliver more aid to struggling small and mid-sized businesses. And now many lawmakers are asking the Fed to expand its lending to small and medium-sized businesses, by allowing companies to offer assets such as commercial properties as collateral. The decision is on the doorstep of Fed Chairman Jay Powell and Steven Mnuchin, the Trump administrations treasury secretary. Its risky because it can be hard for the Fed to accurately appraise assets right now, he told The Associated Press. If it makes riskier loans, the Fed may be seen as propping up teetering zombie businesses that could default on payments.
Kat Cammack wins 10-candidate primary for Congress; Rutherford, Lawson survive challenges
Cammack’s 25% of the vote propels her into the general election to face Democrat Adam Christensen, who narrowly prevailed in his three-way primary. “I am so honored to have earned the trust and support of the voters,” Cammack said in a statement Tuesday night. He will face Republican Gary Adler, who won that primary, in November. In District 6, which includes southern St. Johns and all of Flagler and Volusia counties, Clint Curtis narrowly won a Democratic primary. He will face incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Daytona, who drew no primary opponent.
JTA will use $11.9M federal grant to buy 8 new cleaner energy buses
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Transportation Authority will use an $11.9 million grant from the federal government to take eight diesel buses out of service and replace them with eight compressed natural gas buses. Replacing them with cleaner CNG powered buses is part of the JTA’s mission of sustainability. JTA spokesman David Cawton said all buses purchased by JTA since 2015 have been CNG buses. The eight new CNG buses will make a total of 96 CNG buses in JTA’s fleet of 220 buses total. Four other projects in Florida also received funds from the bus and bus facilities grant program:
I-TEAM: Congressman demands HUD take action at Valencia Way
As of Thursday, natural gas had been shut off at the government-subsidized housing complex Valencia Way, formally Eureka Gardens, for more than three weeks. Thats not right," said Mona Lisa Arnold, who lives at Valencia Way. According to Valerie Jerome, with the Millennia Companies, on Oct. 2, the smell of gas was reported at Valencia Way apartments. The Millennia Companies' representative described the lines as not having shutoff valves, meaning there is no way to isolate leaks. Valencia Way told the I-TEAM it offered hotel suites for people 65 and older who live at the complex.
Florida congressmen share common ground on impeachment inquiry
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For only the fourth time in U.S. history, the House of Representatives has started a presidential impeachment inquiry. The impeachment inquiry into Trump is passionately partisan, and after speaking with members of the House of Representatives in Northeast Florida, that remains the case. News4Jax found a place Republican Rep. John Rutherford, Republican Rep. Michael Waltz and Democratic Rep. Al Lawson all agree. Impeachment," Lawson said. Republicans tell News4Jax they're upset they haven't had a single chance to vote in the House about the impeachment inquiry.